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American needs help with Interview

Discussion in 'English' started by katherinekidd85, Mar 21, 2012.

  1. Hi!

    I'm an American qualified teacher and I have been out of the secondary classroom for over a year (apart from the few days of supply teaching I've done here in the UK the past few weeks)... and so I'm feeling a bit intimidated about my interview for a Teacher of English position next Tuesday.

    In my "Invite to Interview" letter I received today, I was asked to prepare a lesson on ANYTHING to present to a top set of year 9's with approximately 15 students in the class. Well... I'm confident I can create an engaging lesson. BUT, I'm afraid I'm going to fall short of their standards because I don't do something to exact curriculum, exam boards, or whatever UK-specific standards.

    Does this mean I need to study up on the KS3 curriculum? Which I have, and it's familiar to me. But what tips or tricks can someone in this forum give me that will help me wow them? Or make them know I have gone the extra mile in making sure the lesson was UK appropriate? What's expected of me?

    Also, in the US we don't use the term "plenary".... what is a plenary?


    Thanks in advance... I hope someone can help!
     
  2. Hi!

    I'm an American qualified teacher and I have been out of the secondary classroom for over a year (apart from the few days of supply teaching I've done here in the UK the past few weeks)... and so I'm feeling a bit intimidated about my interview for a Teacher of English position next Tuesday.

    In my "Invite to Interview" letter I received today, I was asked to prepare a lesson on ANYTHING to present to a top set of year 9's with approximately 15 students in the class. Well... I'm confident I can create an engaging lesson. BUT, I'm afraid I'm going to fall short of their standards because I don't do something to exact curriculum, exam boards, or whatever UK-specific standards.

    Does this mean I need to study up on the KS3 curriculum? Which I have, and it's familiar to me. But what tips or tricks can someone in this forum give me that will help me wow them? Or make them know I have gone the extra mile in making sure the lesson was UK appropriate? What's expected of me?

    Also, in the US we don't use the term "plenary".... what is a plenary?


    Thanks in advance... I hope someone can help!
     
  3. GloriaSunshine

    GloriaSunshine New commenter

    Plenary is the end bit of the lesson, checking on understanding, summing up main points etc. You do need to know about the UK curriculum for the interview because you'll be up against candidates who already know about it. What sort of lesson are you thinking about? Key thing for interview activity is being able to engage and check learning.
     
  4. I'm playing with some ideas at the moment about imagery. The basis for my lesson is to teach imagery use in both creative and non-creative (expository/non-fictional) modes - "Can you still paint a vivid picture if asked to give just facts or if you were asked to fabricate an entire fictional story?" I feel this is an important skill, and shows creativity and enthusiasm on my part (i think). But every time I develop more of my ideas with this, it just keeps getting more extravagant. I only have 30 min. Again, they said I could do anything with my lesson, so this imagery is my idea. Oh, thanks for the clarification on plenary, it's what I thought it was and I've been trained to do those.
     
  5. These would be the two Key Concepts from the KS3 curriculum I would be using:

    Composition:
    - Write imaginatively, creatively, and thoughtfully, producing texts that interest and engage the reader.
    - Adapt style and language appropriately for a range of forms, purposes and readers.
     
  6. Hi! I'm an American Language Arts teacher who has been teaching English in the UK for the past 10 years. It is quite different. However, the key thing to focus on is using methods that require full class participation (don't allow mental truancy); allow you to see progress from all students and clearly work towards achieving the learning objective throughout all phases of the lesson. (I focus on Bloom's taxonomy to hit higher learning levels and build up through the lesson.) Poetry lessons work very well for one-off observations. I would be happy to search for some of these lessons I have written up with resources and email to you if you would like. Then you would have a model to work with. Let me know.
     
  7. GloriaSunshine

    GloriaSunshine New commenter

    Yes, poetry is good for a one off but be careful, just in case they've already 'done' it. I wouldn't do writing tasks as suggested above if you have free choice because it's harder to check individual progress. Something from this week's news is a safe bet. You could get them to identify bias and consider the other side, find language devices and choose their own or analyse images that different newspapers have used for the same story. You need different activities and consider starting in groups or pairs and working towards independent work. Best to go with something you really want to teach.
     
  8. Thank you guys for your input!! Well.. the writing activities I planned on doing would involve a lot of class sharing, think-pair-shares, and critiques. I want to get the ideas of imagery out there and how to use it effectively in different writing/speaking situations. I think this lesson would be great if I did it with my "own" class once I get a job.... I'm in love with it, lol. But, working to keep it short is difficult. I'll post the lesson when I'm completed with it (whether i use it or not, I'll probably keep it for a rainy day!) I personally don't want to do a poem, because it seems a bit too cliche, honestly. Or is it actually pure gold during an interview lesson? Do you think working on writing skills really is too much for a interview lesson? I'm open to all suggestions... I mean, what is the school thinking/expecting when they give you free reign over your lesson?
     
  9. roamingteacher

    roamingteacher Established commenter Forum guide

    If it's a top set, they'll be looking for challenge but just make sure you consider those who are in the top set, but not 'at the top'. Differentiation is a big thing.


    Your idea sound creative and interesting; it'll be good to see your plan.
     

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